October Newsletter

October Newsletter

Here we go!

After two prayer and vision days, looking at the 2016 Parish Profile, listening to hopes and dreams, and various meetings about buildings and fund raising, it is now time to move forward with a new vision. I wrote about this in August, but now we have a Vision Statement that starts to map out precisely what we could be aiming for. This is not a finished article, it will continue to be re-evaluated frequently. In management terms, it is a continuous loop process that is linked to planning, doing and assessing where we are. You can find the full vision statement at the back of church.



There has been significant success with many existing activities having their foundations laid in years gone by. We celebrate these, but we also recognise that life always moves on and changes. We no longer have what we had. That time has been and went! Instead of trying to keep what we had, we have to nurture new and even change direction. This can be painful for some, but is also exciting as we discover new possibilities. It is not always about numbers either, but about fulfilling the direction we feel the Holy Spirit is leading.


If we carry on without questioning, then we could lose what should be at the heart of our mission; to love God and make Christ known. We become introverted, we pull up the drawbridge and simply withdraw in the hope that things will always stay the same, or work themselves out in the end. Yet in the Gospels, Jesus sent his disciples out into a changing world charging them to share good news, heal the sick and “make disciples of all nations”. This is not an easy task, but we need to seek ways in which we can actively share faith in both word and action.


In terms of people we need to build and develop new skills, new leaders, and new members. Discipleship should never be a static solitary activity, but a vibrant relationship with God who sends us out to love as God has loved us. This takes us in many directions, but I want us to focus at the moment with who we are and what we have and not think “if only we had….”


As part of the vision I want us to grow as the body of Christ and be particularly mission minded. This may mean (among other things)

  • Having a skills, gifts, talents and resources audit, to assess potential.
  • Developing our heart for hospitality that welcomes the stranger.
  • Building up the ministry teams, including Baptism/Marriage preparation, developing the remit of the Pastoral team, prayer and healing team, schools’ teams etc.
  • New Bible study and Discipleship groups.
  • Developing ‘Fresh Expressions’ – being creative and having more culturally relevant approaches.
  • Becoming more multi-generational.
  • Doing more outreach activities through Community Week, Harvest, Christmas, Easter.
  • NOT being afraid of making mistakes, recognising no one person can do it all and therefore forgiving one another when we get it wrong.
  • Improve financial stability – which means not just looking at how much we give but how we give, which can make a significant difference.


St John’s Church Centre

Part of the vision is for us to repair and redevelop St John’s. The roof, porch and windows need repairs now and we would like to improve the worship space, kitchen and community centre overall. Christine Wilson is heading up a fund raising team for this as a way of also drawing us together in fellowship too. Yet since I first introduced our developing vision in August £10,000 has been donated – plus £2,500 of Gift Aid which we can claim back next year! Wow, such a generous people. Thank you!


Yet there is also a bigger task and vision. That is to make St John’s Centre fit for purpose into the 2020’s and well beyond. For this we need to redevelop the community centre so that it can be a hub of the community in so many different ways, for the next generations of people in Filey. If we do it right, it could easily last another 50 or 80 years or more and serve the community we love. Steve Yates our Projects Co-ordinator is heading up a team of people who know their way around grant funding and restoration of ancient buildings. Significant funding would be needed, but the professional advise has been to think big, be bold and let the Holy Spirit inspire and lead us.  I do hope you feel you can join with us in this exciting adventure as we explore and move forward – in faith.


Nigel Chapman

Filey Vicar